News & Event
We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, May 12. Millions of people bought cards, flowers, candy and other symbols of love to show their appreciation for their mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, godmother, and anyone who has filled the role of “mom” at various times.
The Community Foundation celebrates Mother’s Day, too. We work with donors looking for ways to honor their mothers, and we have helped many families create funds that recognize their mother’s profession, interests, causes, or simply the love they received from her.
Scholarship funds and funds that help children in Frederick County are often created, and it’s important to know that while many funds have similarities, every fund created is unique to the person or family or cause it represents. For example, The Margaret E. Brust Nursing Scholarship Fund provides post-secondary scholarships to students studying nursing and was created by Charles and Betty Brust in honor of Margaret, Charles’ mother, who was a dedicated nurse to countless people. Virginia K. Draper was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and educator in Frederick County from 1939 to 1980, and her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter created The Virginia K. Draper Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide post-secondary scholarships to students studying education. The Frederick Arts Council Thelma Gross Music Scholarship Fund was created by daughter Anne-Lynn Gross, to remember Thelma, a teacher, singer, pianist, and poet, and her love of music that was passed down to Anne-Lynn. Tuvy Guss and Tracey Ellis-Guss established The Jean Ellis and Florence Guss Memorial Fund to be able to give back to the community because their mothers instilled in them the importance of philanthropy and volunteering. Tuvy and Tracey named the fund after their mothers to honor and remember their contributions and impact on the community.
There are many more: The Martha Murphy Virts Fund for St. Joseph’s Ministries provides support to the St. Joseph’s nursing home facility in Emmitsburg (formerly St. Catherine’s Nursing Center) and was created by Edgar Virts, Jr., to honor his mother who was a dedicated nurse. The Markey/Hooper Fund for The Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County honors Richard Markey’s mother, Mary Alice Markey, and his aunt, Betty Hooper. The Linda M. Snyder Memorial Fund was established by Linda’s husband Tom and daughter Lindsay to remember her deep love of helping children with special needs by providing post-secondary scholarships to those who are majoring in special education or elementary education.
This is only a brief representation of the funds we hold that were created in honor of a mother, but it does provide examples of the creative ways in which sons and daughters have sought to add to their mother’s legacy and ensure she is remembered forever. The Community Foundation is honored to help.
FREDERICK, MD – July 11, 2019: Ausherman Family Trust has shown its support for The Community Foundation of Frederick County’s Forever Frederick County Campaign with a $250,000 gift.
The Forever Frederick County Campaign was announced in June 2019 as a major fundraising effort by the Community Foundation. With a goal of $20 million, the endowed funds created will provide grants that will support the greatest needs in Frederick County, now and in the future.
Ausherman Family Trust is well known within Frederick County for its support of programs and projects that enhance and help build a thriving community. “This campaign gift is significant and generous, and we are very grateful to Ausherman Family Trust’s board of trustees for their support,” said Gordon Cooley, Community Foundation trustee, and Forever Frederick County Campaign chairman. “It sets an inspiring tone as we work towards meeting our campaign goal.”
To date, the Community Foundation has commissioned two independent needs assessment studies. These studies and similar ones in the future will assist its board of trustees in determining where grants are most needed. The 2018 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment provided data that identified the areas of substance use disorder, the aging population, and supporting families with children as current greatest needs. As needs change over time, the Community Foundation will be prepared to assist.
For more information about the Forever Frederick County Campaign, visit www.ForeverFrederickCounty.org. Information about the 2018 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment study can be found at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NeedsReport.
Among the people qualified to speak to the difference The Community Foundation of Frederick County has made to this community are James and Tamara Shoemaker, of Frederick.
James, a local attorney whose services include estate planning and administration, and Tamara, a licensed psychologist, made their first gift to the Community Foundation’s Helen Smith Scholarship Fund for Children and the Arts in 1997. Since then, they have contributed generously. In 2009, James began a six-year term on the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees, serving as Chairman from 2013-2014. In 2018, they created The James R. and Tamara L. Shoemaker Charitable Fund to provide grants to Frederick County nonprofits that provide critical services for people and to organizations that support animal well-being.
“During my service, I had a unique opportunity to see what a powerful catalyst for change The Community Foundation of Frederick County is,” said James.
Last year, the Shoemakers made a gift to Forever Frederick County, the Community Foundation’s flexible and unrestricted endowment fund that will provide strategic grants based on this community’s most pressing needs as they emerge—now, and in the future. The current needs were determined by the 2018 Human Needs Assessment, and in the future, the results of similar studies will direct grant-making.
“I think Forever Frederick County is an important addition to the funds managed at the Community Foundation,” said James. “We already have funds that are targeted to the areas that have been identified through our Needs Assessments, but we have learned that not every need can be anticipated or planned for. It’s impossible to predict what our community’s greatest needs will be in the future-- yet being prepared to respond quickly to these will be key to managing and remediating them.”
Giving an organization this type of discretion takes trust, says James, but he believes the Community Foundation’s track record of making careful and prudent decisions about where, when, and how to use the proceeds of any unrestricted gifts speaks for itself.
“I’ve been involved with other charitable organizations over the years, both locally and outside of the area,” he says. “I have never seen an organization run as efficiently or as effectively as The Community Foundation of Frederick County. The Trustees go to great lengths to be sure the investments are secure and adequately diversified. There is a superb staff who recruit and manage exceptionally well-trained volunteers who review more than 1,200 scholarship applications every year. The procedure for awarding grants is meticulous and thorough. Every aspect of the organization is exceedingly well run.”
“Whether you want to contribute now or later through your estate,” he concludes, “the Community Foundation can help guide you in creating a meaningful, lasting impact through a legacy that is uniquely yours.”
Ho ho ho from Frederick County!
From your telescope at the North Pole, I am sure that you can see the many good things happening in Frederick County. I know that you and your elves have been scrutinizing your lists, checking them twice, and figuring out who has been naughty and nice. Yes, we anxiously await your annual trip to Frederick County!
I hope our donors are on your list as being “nice.” Without their support, the Community Foundation can’t provide grants and scholarships, so please bring them something special that thanks them for providing more than $6 million in these areas in fiscal 2019. And, if you have something in your sack that is heart-warming, please consider leaving gifts for our Cornerstone Society members in recognition of their remembering the Community Foundation or one of its funds in their estate plans.
I would be surprised if you found anyone in Frederick County to put on your “naughty” list, except maybe the people who drive the wrong way on Church Street in front of our office. However, I don’t think they are naughty; they are just disoriented or confused with our one-way streets. Or maybe they are so happy eating their cupcakes from our neighborhood cupcakery or the fudge, ice cream, and doughnut stores on our street corners that they lose their sense of direction. I will be sure to leave some of their special treats for you and the reindeer on the 24th.
I know a letter to you is supposed to ask for something. Here are a few things that would make my heart sing, such as:
· Help us continue to make progress in raising money for our Forever Frederick County campaign. This money will go towards building an endowment fund that will provide grants now for Frederick County’s greatest needs, such as our aging population, families with children, and responding to substance use disorder, and then the greatest needs that arise in the future.
· Encourage all Frederick County residents who are pursuing a post-secondary education to apply for our scholarships. The application will be available on our website from March 1st through March 31st. Speaking of scholarships, our Scholarship Committee is currently accepting applications for volunteers. Maybe you could let everyone know about this as you travel during the holidays?
· Give everyone who is struggling a peaceful heart during the holiday and in the coming year. Our nonprofits work hard to bring health, harmony, and happiness to all the residents of Frederick County, so please include their volunteers and staff in your gifts as well.
Thank you for reading my letter and thank you for all your gifts – the ones from the past years, the ones that you will leave this year, and the ones that will come to us in the future. Most importantly, thank you for all the donors who are and will help ensure that Frederick County is forever. Ho ho ho! A happy holiday to all!
If ever there was a testimony to the benefits of hard work, it’s local businessman and Community Foundation of Frederick County supporter De Willard. Fit and energetic at 87, De admits to working long hours for most of his life, a habit that has obviously agreed with him.
Recognized widely for innovations in agribusiness as well as his philanthropic outreach, De first flexed his entrepreneurial muscle in 1948 at barely 16 years old. With $2,300 he had saved up working part-time for 25 cents per hour at a grocery store in his native Poolesville, he purchased a combine harvester. Before long, he had replanted the family farm which had lain fallow for many years. When he wasn’t busy at his own 300 acres, he was harvesting wheat, corn, and barley for neighboring farmers—saving them time and labor and building the funds he would need to capitalize on his next opportunity.
His keen eye for an opportunity is just one of the many factors responsible for De Willard’s extraordinary business success. His family was hard-working and entrepreneurial, and they impressed upon young De the importance of solid relationships in both personal and professional life. Born during the Great Depression, he learned to be both fiscally conservative and extremely generous. An outside-the-box-thinker, De’s lifelong ability to identify problems and address them through creative solutions has helped him build Willard Agri-Services into one of the most successful companies of its kind in a six-state region.
Because De’s business success was built on forward-thinking and innovation, it should come as no surprise that he was one of the first to embrace the concept behind The Community Foundation of Frederick County shortly after its founding in 1986.
“I knew all of the founders of the Community Foundation,” he said. “Don Linton. Charlie Main. Jerry Offutt. In fact, I grew up near Poolesville in upper Montgomery County with Jerry Offutt. Our great grandfathers were best friends, so the families have been connected from way back. All three men were friends whom I knew well and trusted.”
De says he remembers being further impressed by the newly-formed organization’s mission and objectives after reading about them in the Frederick News-Post. In 1989, he directed his first gift to the Community Foundation to be used to create The De Willard Family Fund, an unrestricted endowment. For the past 30 years, the annual proceeds from this unrestricted fund have been used by the Board of Trustees and the grants committee to address the constantly changing, most pressing needs of the community.
Like De Willard’s initial gift, the soon-to-be launched Forever Frederick County fund will also be an unrestricted endowment. Like the Community Foundation’s leadership, De believes that building this flexible fund to tackle Frederick County’s current and emerging greatest needs is a vital and necessary step to preserving and improving the quality of life in our community.
“Grants from our Forever Frederick County campaign will be based on the areas of greatest community need as determined by the Human Needs Assessment report, and that have been selected by our Board of Trustees as areas of focus,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Day. “Donors who contribute to this unrestricted endowment will be trusting the Community Foundation to invest their charitable gifts and grant them wisely, to act with integrity, and to communicate honestly and with transparency.”
Since his initial gift in 1989, De has also created The De Willard Charitable Gift Fund. Still a strong advocate for the agricultural professions, he—along with Rodman Myers, Mehrle Ramsburg, Jr., and Franklin Gladhill-- created The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund in 2009. These scholarships target students pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture or a related field, or farmers interested in pursuing course work to enhance their knowledge of farm business.
According to De, the scholarship’s goal is to help interested students become better farmers through education. He remains an active participant on The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund selection committee, and has helped to direct several grants from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation into that fund.
“I think that everything The Community Foundation of Frederick County does is very helpful-- critical really,” said De. “It’s a fact that people struggle, and sometimes they need help from the organizations that the Community Foundation provides funding for through the proceeds from the charitable gifts that they invest. Its staff and volunteers carry out the organization’s objectives with kindness, fairness and integrity, which I admire and appreciate.”
“At our company, ‘doing the right thing’ is at the top of our list of values,” he says. “I feel confident supporting an organization like the Community Foundation because they share those values.”
How often do you meet people now who are born, raised, and live their entire lives in the same place? Frederick County is a place where this phenomenon is not uncommon, but increasingly unlikely as the years pass.
Meredith and Helen Young are two people who spent their entire lives here. In 2009, the year both passed away, they were well into their 90’s. Graduates of Frederick High School, Meredith was employed immediately following graduation by Fredericktown Bank and Trust (now PNC Bank) as a runner. He began learning many of the other bank positions, but his career was interrupted while he served in WWII as a Master Sergeant in the 146th Finance Section of the Army, experiencing both the European and Pacific theatres of war. Meredith returned to the bank following the war, and in 1957, became assistant vice-president. In January 1959, he became the youngest bank president in the City of Frederick, at the age of 46. He was active in the community, including Rotary Club of Frederick, where he became a Paul Harris Fellow; a charter member of the Frederick Jaycees; vice-chairman of the March of Dimes; a member of the board of trustees of Frederick Memorial Hospital; served on the Board of Associates at Hood College; a member of the A.F. & A. Masonic Lodge, receiving a 70-year Masonic pin; and a member of the Francis Scott Key American Legion Post 11. This list is slightly pared down due to limited space!
Helen Brown was hired by Fredericktown Bank and Trust after her graduation from Hood College in 1935. There she met Meredith, and they were married in October 1943. Helen’s bank career lasted 41 years until her retirement in 1978 as vice-president and trust officer. She was community-minded as well, as a life member of the Frederick Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and a 40-year member of the board of directors for the G. Frank Thomas Foundation. Both Helen and Meredith were 65+ year members of Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The Youngs were generous with their time and resources and were described by a close friend as having spent much of their lifetime “quietly helping students acquire an education.” They were modest and didn’t want attention or publicity about their good deeds. They recognized the value of education and sought to ensure that studying at the post-secondary level was available.
Meredith was the second of the couple to pass away, and after his death, The W. Meredith S. Young and Helen B. Young Scholarship Fund was established through a bequest to the Community Foundation. Since 2012, more than $260,000 in scholarships have been provided to Frederick County students from the fund. The Youngs also made bequests to Rotary Club of Frederick and the Historical Society of Frederick County. Those organizations decided to create funds through the Community Foundation as a way of ensuring they could fulfill their goals. The Rotary Club of Frederick/W. Meredith S. Young and Helen B. Young Scholarship Fund was created, and since 2012 has provided more than $100,000 in scholarships to area students. The Historical Society created The Meredith and Helen Young Facilities Enhancement and Preservation Fund to support the maintenance and preservation of its buildings. Grants provided since 2012 exceed $125,000.
Meredith and Helen contributed immensely to the quality of life in Frederick County, both professionally and personally, during their lifetime. They continue to have great impact as scholarships will be provided annually, and the history of our county will continue to be preserved because of their foresight. They are a true example of For Good. Forever. For Frederick County.
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